Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Linguistic Barriers to Academic Mobility

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Linguistic Barriers to Academic Mobility

Article excerpt


Relevance of the Problem

Academic mobility serves as a means of internationalization.

Speaking about internationalization of higher education as a process involving more and more participants, academic mobility of students may be called as one of its means. Globalization, internationalization and integration are relevant questions as they affect all the spheres of our lives including higher education. Modern universities have international departments and such indicator as academic mobility of students is considered to be the criterion of their prestige. Good knowledge of foreign languages is a target for every student who wants to take part in the mobility programs. Though today we are undergoing the global economical and political crisis, the problem of mutual understanding and search for the ways to solve many of the social problems require good knowledge of a foreign language, otherwise communication between different countries would be impossible.

Explore Importance of the Problem

According to the EUROSTUDENT data students taking part in the mobility programs face some certain obstacles, which prevent them from gaining all the benefits of such programs.

The main obstacles are the financial one and the linguistic barriers. Finding the ways to tackle these obstacles is very relevant and will enable more students to experience life and study abroad.

Main Notions

Originally the concepts "academic mobility" and "internationalization" were considered to be synonyms. In the beginning of the XX century J. Knight defined internationalization as a process of international aspect introduction in the research, educational and serving functions of the higher education.

The notion "academic mobility" has various definitions. The Bologna declaration of 1999, being the core document for all of the following agreements, highlights the importance of the students and staff free movement and open access to the European higher education institutions.

The most common interpretation of this concept is the following: "The term "academic mobility" implies a period of study, teaching and/or research in a country other than a student's or academic staff member's country of residence (henceforth referred to as the "home country"). This period is of limited duration, and it is envisaged that the student or staff member return to his or her home country upon completion of the designated period. The term "academic mobility" is not intended to cover migration from one country to another". It is presented in the Recommendation No. R (95) 8 of the committee of ministers to member states on academic mobility (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 March 1995 at the 531st meeting of the Ministers' Deputies) (Strasbourg, 2 March 1995).

In 10 years after signing the Bologna Declaration in the Leuven Communique academic mobility is considered not just to connect the countries' cultures and education systems, but to increase the quality of the education and research in them. Mobility plays an extraordinary role in the personal development, in the formation of a tolerant member of our society, respecting the cultural diversity.

Modern higher education institutions are in strong competition today, especially in terms of international activities, international cooperation with universities-partners, creation of joint exchange programs for students and staff, educational programs, courses, conferences, which are the key factors for the creation of the university's positive image. Moreover academic mobility brings much profit and this is another reason of its becoming one of the leading activities of the educational institutions.

Contemporary educational standards are aimed to develop students' cross-cultural competence. According to R. A. Valeeva and M. V. Panteleeva cross-cultural competence implies "positive attitude to the different ethno-cultural groups' existence in the society and that is one of the relevant targets of all the countries that are becoming polyethnic". …

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